The UAE can still dodge FEI rules at headlining endurance races due to the cock-eyed definition of ‘Minor’ events.
By Pippa Cuckson | January 19, 2021
Well, that UAE suspension seemed over in a flash, didn’t it? It has been business as usual at the epicentre of winter endurance from January 1 ‒ the UAE is packing loads into the next three months, racing four days out of seven.
Its first feature 120km race of 2021, the Expo Cup CEN, saw the usual pitiful completion rate: 44 finishers, 87 vetgate eliminations and 11 of those mysterious “failures to complete” (FTCs.)
Riders were drawn from 24 nations for that opening meet which ran under national rules. All perfectly legit, because demanding endurance events can count as “national” even when they would be of Olympic standard, if endurance was an Olympic sport.
Worryingly, too, so far this year the longer races have not been livestreamed. There could be Covid-related reasons for standing down the camera crews (though no one else seems too worried about social distancing) but equally the wish to reduce public scrutiny may now seem preferable to ego-feeding...
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